The QUEST to Appian World
Catching up with QUEST alumni is always an interesting opportunity. Learning more about the path they’ve followed since they were in the same shoes as us current students is incredibly valuable, as they provide clear examples of what might be possible in the future. I was able to catch up with Andrew Jones from Q26 this month, who studied aerospace engineering at UMD and graduated last May. He was also the lead for QUESTPress during his time in the program. He now works at Appian and is approaching his one year anniversary at the company!
Andrew recently took part in the second annual professional services hackathon at Appian. Teams from around the world had the chance to participate and were tasked with creating an app (on the Appian platform) in a 21-hour time span that aligns with the Appian Guarantee. The Appian Guarantee states that anyone can gain knowledge of the Appian platform in 2 weeks and develop their first app in 8 weeks. Andrew and his team were able to come up with an application that allowed users to create their own ways of viewing any data they might have stored or access to. When asked about his experience, Andrew said, “21 hours, in reality, is not that much time, so our team basically used every second of those 21 hours to build our application.” Andrew’s team won the grand prize at the hackathon, which was an all expenses paid trip to the Appian World Conference in San Diego.
Andrew’s time with QUEST has had a great impact on him. Interestingly, his hackathon team was an all QUEST-team, as Ilan Gold (Q22) actually reached out to him to ask if he would be interested in teaming up with him and Savannah Vogel (Q19). They even named their team “The QUEST to Appian World.” It’s pretty easy to see why this team was able to work so cohesively to win the grand prize! Andrew also cites how QUEST helped him integrate more easily into the work culture at Appian, saying, “Appian is such an agile-focused company, as we pretty much apply it to all of the projects we work on. Learning about agile in 190H and applying it in 490H definitely helped with the transition to the workforce, as I (as well as anyone else here who was in QUEST) already had a relatively strong foundation in agile.”
Andrew loves working with Appian as an associate consultant within their professional services department. In this role, he delivers business applications to streamline clients’ business needs and processes, allowing him to learn about multiple industries and their processes in a relatively short amount of time. He says the caliber of people working at Appian is amazing. Everyone is really smart and driven, each with their own unique backgrounds, and he really enjoys working with them on projects and interacting with them at the office on a day-to-day basis.
All in all, it’s pretty incredible to hear how well Andrew’s doing with Appian, and his story serves as a testament to how QUEST helps students develop personally and professionally, while also making sure they win trips to San Diego! Congrats to Andrew and his teammates!